PRODUCTION DESIGN PORN: Bernardo Bertolucci and Ferdinando Scarfiotti

Italian director and screenwriter Bernardo Bertolucci was born in March 1941. He started writing at the age of 15 and originally wanted to be a poet. However, after assisting Pier Paolo Pasolini  with his film Accattone in 1961, Bertolucci dropped out of his literature studies at the University of Rome and directed his first film, The Grim Reaper, at the tender age of 22. Bertolucci’s films are known for their vibrant visuals as well as controversial political themes. He won two Oscars in 1988 (Best Director and Screenplay) for The Last Emperor.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Production Designer: Carlo Simi | Set Decorators: Rafael Ferri, Carlo Leva

The Conformist (1970)

Production Designer: Ferdinando Scarfiotti  | Set Decorator: Osvaldo Desideri

Strategia del ragno (1970)

Production Designer: Maria Paola Maino

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Production Designer & Set Decorator: Philippe Turlure

1900 (1976)

Art Director: Ezio Frigerio | Maria Paola Maino

The Last Emperor (1987)

Production Designer: Ferdinando Scarfiotti | Art Director: Maria-Teresa Barbasso, Gianni Giovagnoni, Gianni Silvestri | Set Decorator: Bruno Cesari and Osvaldo Desideri

Stealing Beauty (1996)

Production Designer: Gianni Silvestri | Art Director: Domenico Sica | Set Decorator: Cynthia Sleiter

The Dreamers  (2003)

Production Designer: Jean Rabasse | Art Director: Pierre Duboisberranger


What is your favourite Bernardo Bertolucci set or film?

Alison Hickey

Posted by Alison Hickey

Alison Hickey is a set designer based in Toronto. Her credits include 'Schitt's Creek', 'The Good Witch', 'Remedy', and 'Spun Out'.

  1. The Conformist, always and forever. Fernando Scarfiotti paired with Bernardo Bertolucci was always perfection.

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  2. Wow, those stills all look pretty amazing. I especially loved “The Last Emperor” from the visual perspective but “Once upon a time in the West” will always remind me of the countless times I watched that movie with my dad.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Production design was never better than the collaboration between director Bernardo Bertolucci and Production Designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti.

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  4. Francesco Fonda December 6, 2019 at 9:34 AM

    Set decorator on Last Emperor was Bruno Cesari who got an Academy Award and who also did Little Buddha and was nominated again for The talented Mr Ripley.

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    1. I’ve now corrected the error. IMDB has the wrong credits listed.

      Reply

  5. Francesco Fonda December 9, 2019 at 3:58 PM

    Thank you.. He was a friend and a mentor with extraordinary taste and culture and grace.

    Reply

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